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Autonomous Vehicles: From Hype to Reality

Autonomous Vehicles: From Hype to Reality

The auto industry is rapidly driving toward a future where smarter, connected vehicles take on more driving tasks to reduce our stress, free up our time and make driving safer for everyone. Advanced driver-assistance technologies and autonomous vehicles promise to lower mobility costs while reducing traffic and accidents on our roads and highways.

OEMs are pushing the envelope to offer the most advanced, safest driver-assistance technologies on the path to autonomous vehicles. Companies and investors are pumping billions of dollars into the autonomous-vehicle sector for the chance to score big in this nascent market. Early movers are getting a jump on the competition with partnerships, pilot projects and production.

This report reveals what more than 260 top industry leaders and insiders are thinking and planning, the main challenges they face, the timing of product releases, early applications, leading technologies and what the future holds. The results are illuminating and provide valuable insight into the strategies and plans of OEMs and suppliers.

The report is comprised of Wards Intelligence articles originally posted to the subscription service between December 2021 and April 2022. The articles are based on research conducted in late 2021 and early 2022, including an industry survey conducted in October 2021.


  • Market strategies and early applications
  • Level 3-4 evolution planning
  • Outlook on top applications
  • Volume projections
  • Which OEMS are leading


  • Automakers and suppliers developing autonomous and ADAS technology
  • Fleet companies looking to deploy AVs
  • Mobility-service providers
  • Policy makers


  • When is the tipping point?
  • Challenges to mass production
  • Which regions are leading the charge on autonomy?
  • Policy challenges
  • Impact of AI
  • Detailed results of Wards Intelligence industry survey


I. Overview

II. Market Strategies and Early Applications i. OEM Level 3-Level 4 Plans

  • Level 3 Applications
  • Level 4 and 5 Applications

III. Market Factors: Challenges and Regions i. Commercial Level 4 Passenger Vehicle Market

  • Personal Level 4 Passenger Vehicle Market
  • Level 4 and 5 Tipping Point?
  • Challenges to Mass Production
  • Regions Leading Growth of Level 4 and Level 5

IV. AI and Communications Challenges i. Full Stack AV Technologies

  • Important Safety Factors
  • AI and Machine Learning Regulatory Challenges
  • AI Development Challenges

V. Hardware Challenges i. Most Prevalent AV Sensor Technologies in 2026

  • Biggest AV Hardware Development Challenges

VI. Impact of AVs i. Potential Benefits of AVs

  • Potential Drawbacks of AVs
  • How AVs Might Affect Vehicle Ownership by 2030

VII. Market Outlook i. Level 3 Vehicles as a Percent of Total Sales

  • Level 4 Market Penetration Expectations
  • Level 5 Vehicle Market Penetration

VIII. OEM Grades i. Report Card Criteria

  • Grade A: Well Positioned to Exploit AV Market Growth
  • Grade B: Shown Capability but Lagging Market Leaders
  • Grade C: Has Stake in AV Development but Some Deficiencies

IX. Appendix: 2021 Wards Intelligence Autonomous

  • Vehicle Survey Results

Item Subjects:
Reports > Autonomy